There is a town somewhere where the locals do not fear for their lives and yet the undead patrol the streets at night.
You see, the town is governed by a powerful lich who is judge, jury and executioner. She uses her potent sorcery to see into the souls of the accused and, if judged guilty, she devours their souls and uses their corpses for manual labor and policing.
The only problem is that crime is at an all-time low and their mistress is beginning to starve. A lich going “senile” in this way becomes dangerously unpredictable. So the locals have set up a false “thieves’ guild” and “smuggler’s association”, drawing unfortunate low lives and rogues from other parts of the land into their town. Their protector needs to feed and the people must oblige.
She has struck a mutually beneficial bargain with the townspeople: they let her manage justice and the guard and she gets to continue her necromantic studies in safety and privacy.
Using this NPC in your campaign
Here are some potential hooks:
- The adventuring party, if mostly composed of rogues or criminals, get tricked into joining the thieves’ guild and enter that town. Eventually they find out what they’re up against and must escape the city and its watchful, restless guards.
- One of the PCs has a roguish friend in that town who seeks their aid, insisting that they’re innocent but awaiting trial.
- One of the party’s more potent enemies has fled into this town and only the lich can help in finding him.
- The lich has gone silent and comatose; the townspeople desperately need fresh souls; the party could be hired to lead a band of outlaws and ruffians into town.